back to article An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

Researchers have crafted algorithms that can blend an audio recording of someone talking with a video of them saying something else entirely – and create a new convincing lip-synched video with the replacement sound. In other words, the resulting video carries the injected audio, rather than its original sound, and the frames …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heres hoping that 2020 will be Vincent Price vs Daffy Duck.

  2. Prndll


    Yeah right? who does that anymore?

    1. Haku

      Re: video-taped?

      Not many do, it has turned from a physical act into a recognised expression.

      If you want to go down the pedant route, you might want to think about what digital video recorders do with their captured video, they effectively save the video data to their storage medium.

      But having a title with "said in his video data saved speech" doesn't seem right, so "video-taped" is still appropriate.

      1. lorisarvendu

        Re: video-taped?

        Yeah. Like you "wind the window down" in your car, whilst listening to an internet "Radio station" and "dialing" a friend on your cellphone...who tells you they've just booked a cruise on an ocean liner that's going to "sail" round the world. Then, after you've "hung up" on them, you decide to read some emails that have been "carbon copied" to you.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: video-taped?

        Maybe that's what Herr Lügenführer meant when he said there were no "tapes" of his conversations with Director Comey....

  3. Pompous Git Silver badge

    You can basically make world leaders say anything you want.

    Money talks as they say...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: You can basically make world leaders say anything you want.

      Or not just world leaders... how about someone that say the police want to pin a crime on. "See, we have their video confession." I'm sure there's other mis-uses of this tech to had.

  4. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    I'd like to say this about that.

    So now they can show a Pat Paulsen speech and it will make sense? I'll never vote for him for President again.

  5. Brian Miller


    This is exactly what the U.S. needs right now. And if it can rewrite late-night tweets, all the better.

    I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. We need them.

  6. Daggerchild Silver badge

    That's nothing!

    Using only readily available consumer equipment, people are already uploading clips of Trump saying things that are absolutely ridiculous!

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: That's nothing!

      Unfortunately, those clips are probably real.

      Or, Trump doesn't exist at all, the US has voted in a Skynet avatar.

  7. John Savard Silver badge

    Blame Disney

    After all, creating a younger Carrie Fisher by means of CGI - and a living Peter Cushing - is likely to have inspired these researchers to recognize that the technology to do this kind of thing was now available!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blame Disney

      Trump doesn't offer hope though.

  8. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    Mein LangWocheWitzheit

    I vill only belief it ven I hear präss for Liarbirdt frum a real Werld Leader sutsch ass Angela Merkel. Zeess could neffer happen in Tschurmany.

  9. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    The AI said it had a better idea

    Instead of training an AI how to use audio to fix the replayed video, just train an AI to use the original video to fix the replayed video. It's a much more direct route and it can be extended to improving video compression in general. Video compression attempts to describe changes that are happening as best as possible and everything else becomes a flood of image data. Right now those descriptions are not much better than saying what is moving, what looks like something else, and which scene cut is on.

  10. DougS Silver badge

    Render the mouth perfectly

    Or use a low quality video or one taken from sideways to dub in the fake speech, and you don't need to bother with such perfect rendering. I fully expect that if for example someone like Flynn produced a recording of Trump approving collusion with the Russians (i.e. part of a plea deal to save his skin) Trump would deny it and claimed it is faked, and his supporters would believe it.

    Even if it was perfect 4K video, someone at Breitbart would link to this research, and all the Trump bots would fall into line. Doesn't matter if the technology isn't ready yet, the existence of research merely discussing the possibility means that video evidence will no longer be acceptable to the suitably brainwashed.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Render the mouth perfectly

      the existence of research merely discussing the possibility means that video evidence will no longer be acceptable to the suitably brainwashed.

      The suitably brainwashed never required plausible research in the first place. Just think about all the flat-earthers, AGW-deniers, Holocaust-deniers, anti-vaxxers and Creationists already out there.

      (I'm now going to sit here and wait for one of them to turn up and say they have tons of evidence in their favour.)

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    A just barely credible use case is being bankrolled by $mult Bn. Why?

    Cause it's annoying that the sound is OK but the video of the person is a bit choppy during a video link?

    This is the (stated) best use of their money they can come up with?

  12. KorndogDev

    Next project: AI supported farts

    Why? Because why not.

  13. imanidiot Silver badge

    Doesn't do it for me. The mouth looks good but Obama has a very pronounced body language when speaking which is not changed from the original. So suddenly his head an shoulder movement doesn't match the emphasis of his speech. It's good I'll give em that. And somre people might be convinced but I vmcan tell something is off.

    1. VinceH

      Ditto. In some places, I felt that if I was watching a movie, I might be wondering if the original audio had been dubbed with something similar, but not quite the same.

      Also, look again at 1:23 in the video, when the person Obama is talking to says "Okay" - the Fauxbama attempts to mouth the word.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that Obama was a real person in the first place, lol.

    I stil prefer "bad lip reading" on youtube though.

  15. Archtech Silver badge

    Easy to detect though...

    Just check the speech for the slightest traces of coherent meaning. If they are there, the speech has been tampered with.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I BIT clonton Is AREADY DOIN thug To TRUMPI

    Sometimes TRUMO DOESNT LOOK like hes Sayin whAT hes Sayin SO INBET FER INSTANCE clintun IS PUTTING words INTO HIS MOUTH. AND probably MOAR BESIDES. THats why the GRATE PRESIDON't TRIMP uses TWOOATER to get His pIlocys Across to the Citizens Of the US AND THE WORLD (except FRANCE they have UNIINS AROUND THEIR NEXKS). In that way HE DONT GET HICKED. WITH melooonier (1nd lady) BYNHIS SIDE. Nkkid with gun. (Me not HER. I AM INNTHE BATH WITH a lug Pig. pug. SOAP).

    YOU could put ANYBWURDS into o'Bamers mouth AND HED STILL BE LIEING.

    1. Haku

      Re: I BIT clonton Is AREADY DOIN thug To TRUMPI

      What the covfefe?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I BIT clonton Is AREADY DOIN thug To TRUMPI

      ManFromMars, you forgot to deselect the AC option.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: I BIT clonton Is AREADY DOIN thug To TRUMPI

        ManFromMars? or a wannabee without the spelling skills? Let's not feed the troll....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I BIT clonton Is AREADY DOIN thug To TRUMPI

          I am NOT A TRIL.i am a three MANN...,

          Is YO SIRNAME reAlly 85??? That wuld Be COOL,...

  17. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Talking head?

    One option not mentioned is a person recording and encoding a high resolution head, then supplying it before hand to participants in a video conference.

    The bandwidth required to maintain a high resolution image in the conference would be greatly reduced.

    A very personalised avatar.

    It would, of course, require some form of cryptography to guarantee that you were talking to the originator and owner of the data.

  18. SolidSquid

    Just need to wait now for someone to hijack a White House speech and get an impersonator to change what a president says to whatever they wanted them to say. "What do you mean, I said that? WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT WAS ON TV?!"

    1. macjules Silver badge

      "hijack a White House speech"

      There aren't any White House speeches, only tweets.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        There aren't any White House speeches, only tweets.

        It wouldn't be worth the effort of trying to put words into Trump's mouth. You just have to wait until he tweets a brain fart which is the opposite of his claimed position of a few days earlier.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not AI

    This was not done by "an AI".

    This was done by a researcher who used a lot of existing data to train models to perform some of the steps needed (a very complex piece of research I'm sure and congratulations to the team involved).

    No artificial intelligence here.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Not AI

      Maybe no natural intelligence, either.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does this overcome a properly crytographically signed video with audio?

    Oh, it doesn't.

    I guess that's the answer then ....

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: How does this overcome a properly crytographically signed video with audio?

      My thoughts exactly. Digital watermarks are your friend here. Besides, AI may also be used to find the original, untampered footage, using content-based video retrieval, if said original footage is publicly available

  21. Craigie

    eeehh it's okay, but still pretty obvious that it's fake.

  22. sisk Silver badge

    It's an impressive achievement, but after about about 10 seconds of watching it falls into the uncanny valley.

  23. Nifty

    Can a lip reader instantly tell which video is fake?

  24. Someone Else Silver badge
    Big Brother

    The research was partly funded by Samsung, Google, Facebook, Intel and University of Washington Animation Research Labs.

    Gee, I wonder why Google and Facebook would be interested in this....

  25. ITS Retired

    I can hardly wait till their is an app for that

    $1.99 with one year of free updates. You know it is coming.

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